GUILDERLAND Pete Rose has a simple message for any Major League Baseball player who uses steroids.
"If you break the rules and you cheat, that's not good for the game," said Rose.
Rose -- who visited The Stadium sports collectibles shop at Crossgates Mall Wednesday -- knows something about breaking baseball's rules. The all-time hits leader was be banned from the game for life in 1989 after the Dowd Report revealed that he bet on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose filed a lawsuit before agreeing to the ban. Then, he publicly denied for more than a decade that he bet on the game he played and managed before confessing to it in an autobiography he released in 2007 called "My Prison Without Bars." Today, Rose watches baseball games on TV.
"I start watching around a quarter after five (in the afternoon)," said Rose. "I live in Las Vegas, so I get to see the East Coast games at around 5, the Midwest games around 6 and then the West Coast games around 7.
"I'm a fan," he added. "Am I not going to love the game anymore because I screwed up? No."
Rose's visit coincided with another baseball controversy. Two days before Rose came to town, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season for his relationship with the Biogenesis clinic, a Miami-based lab that allegedly supplied performance enhancing drugs to Braun and several other current major leaguers including New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Chaz Betz, who owns The Stadium, admitted in hindsight that having Rose visit his store to sign autographs and appear on Mike Lindsley's WTMM 104.5 FM radio program in light of Braun's suspension was perfectly timed.
"I kind of lucked out," said Betz. "I wish I hit the lottery instead."